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Virginia War Memorial Hosting Annual Commonwealth’s Patriot Day Ceremony On Monday, September 11, 2023, Public Encouraged To Attend To Honor And Remember Fellow Americans Lost & Injured During Terrorist Attacks Of 9/11/01

The Virginia War Memorial will host the Commonwealth’s Patriot Day Ceremony, Monday, September 11, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in the Shrine of Memory – Global War on Terrorism and Beyond. Karl S. Leonard, Sheriff of Chesterfield County, Va. and U.S. Coast Guard combat veteran, will be the keynote speaker.

This annual ceremony will officially commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Northern Virginia and the downing of the jet aircraft in Shanksville, Pennsylvania that occurred on September 11, 2001.

This was the first enemy attack on American soil since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. September 11 has been designated each year as Patriot Day, a National Day of Mourning, by the United States Congress to honor and remember the 2,997 men and women who died and the more than 6,000 who were injured on that day in 2001.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the ceremony.  Attendees are requested to arrive early to be in place for the 11 a.m. start time.  Beginning at 10:40 a.m., the Virginia Barbershop Chorus will perform. The ceremony will include the placement of wreathes in memory of those who lost their lives during the 2001 attacks.  Representatives of the Freedom Flag Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to remembering 9/11, will also participate.

There is no admission charge. Free parking is available in the Virginia War Memorial surface lot and underground parking deck at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, VA 23220. The Virginia War Memorial will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for visitation and the documentary film, A New Century, A New War, will be shown all day in the Memorial’s Reynolds Theater.

“We welcome Sheriff Karl Leonard as our keynote speaker for this year’s Commonwealth’s Patriot Day Ceremony,” said Virginia War Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle. “Before beginning a second career in law enforcement and as the Sheriff of one of Virginia’s largest counties, Sheriff Leonard served with distinction as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and participated in many anti-terrorist and other military assignments at various stateside locations including the Pentagon and in combat situations overseas.”

“We must never forget our fellow Americans and fellow Virginians who died on that terrible day two decades ago. And there is no more fitting place in the Commonwealth to honor them than here on the hallowed grounds of the Virginia War Memorial. We invite all Virginians and their families and friends to join us for this solemn event,” added Dr. Mountcastle.

For more information on the 2023 Commonwealth’s Patriot Day Ceremony, please visit, or call 804.786.2060.


About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth, and Inspire Patriotism in All.  Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the Global War on Terrorism. The Virginia War Memorial is and will always be the Commonwealth’s tribute to those who served and most especially, to those who died defending our freedoms.

The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military.  It is located at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220 and is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m.  Admission is free, except for select events.  For more information, please visit


 About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with 50 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education, and other programs. The agency operates four long-term care

facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit